Gothic Towers: The Best of DEADBEATS cover

Press Release

Claypool Comics' long-running vampire comic book DEADBEATS is moving from print to the Internet. In addition to new stories and art, the website will include background information on the characters for new readers, but Claypool isn't stopping there.

This month -- April of 2007 -- Claypool releases "Gothic Towers: The Best of DEADBEATS," a 160-page compilation of specially-selected sequences from the over eighty issues of DEADBEATS. This volume is intended to serve as the definitive introduction to the DEADBEATS series and companion to the webcomics.

In the book, a group of friends, gathered around a beach campfire, request that Rick, one of their number, recount the strange legend of the vampires of Fear City, and he spins a wild tale of the Deadbeats' arrival. The vampires impress a local youth--the mayor's troubled son Southie--into their group and begins their campaign of terror. A colorful assortment of citizens band together to combat the evil undead and IN the course of the battle, another, more mysterious player makes his presence known: Hermano, King of the Vampires. The struggles of the principals crisscross as the highlights of each character's story is presented in its entirety in a special restructuring of sequences from the entire run of DEADBEATS.

These classic episodes include:
• Southie's trip to Hell to rescue his vampire bride Brittany;
• Young Mason Collier's bizarre apprenticeship under the tutelage of King Hermano;
• Dracula's torment of two of the original Deadbeats in his castle's Torture Theater;
• and vampire hunter V.V. Ralston's scientific experiment to "cure" one of the vampires.

These stories, which illuminate major turning points in the lives of the main characters, will be integrated into a framing sequence of almost twenty-five pages of new material by the series' regular creators.

Claypool will ship the book to comics shops in April 2007. It will have a cover price of $12.95. You can view the cover at

DEADBEATS, inspired by such classic entertainments as the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, spins an epic of the vampires who stalk Mystic Grove -- a town nicknamed Fear City -- and the mortals who defy them. Writer-penciller Richard Howell, a DC and Marvel veteran (Hawkman, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch) created the series, and Ricardo Villagran (Star Trek, Conan the Barbarian) is the inker.

DEADBEATS' thirteen-year, 82-issue run, one of the longest in independent comics, has yielded two previous compilations: "New in Town," collecting the rare issues 1 through 6, and "Learning the Game," collecting issues 7 through 12. The content of "Gothic Towers" will be chosen from key sequences from the entire series. This volume also features a new foreword by Lara Parker (Dark Shadows' Angelique and the author of Angelique's Descent and Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch) and an afterword by comics writer Kurt Busiek (Astro City, Conan, and Superman).

Back issues of the entire DEADBEATS series, both the regular issues and the previous trade paperback collections, have always been available through mail-order via Comics Warehouse. As of April 2007, they will be exclusively available via the Claypool website "Comics Warehouse will no longer be handling our back-issue fulfillment," explains Howell, "so the Claypool website will get set up to process any future orders."

Howell says, "This third volume will be the perfect complement to the ongoing series, both print and Internet, and will be a satisfying experience both for the new reader and also for anyone who's read every issue."

Be afraid, Internet - DEADBEATS is coming!